I’m hiding in the kitchen. I should probably admit that up front, just so you don’t think I’m someone I’m not.
Family have come round. I’m tired. There was this sudden feeling of proximity and being encroached upon. I have made my excuses, and am hiding. I don’t want them all to stop interacting and enjoying, but I don’t want to put up extra defences either. They take ages to dismantle, and I want to get to bed at a decent hour.
I’m British, so I think a lot about politeness. It’s what we do. Stiff upper lip and all that. Politeness is all about building social rules and boundaries.
The Victorian lists of etiquette are ceaseless. Now there’s an autistic society if ever I saw one. Rigid rules. No touching. Strict daily routines. I’d be happy with my repetitive task of embroidering something. Probably not quite so happy with the clothes or the restrictions on what I could and couldn’t do.
Perhaps I’ll stay in the present for a while longer.
I structure my life to keep things predictable. Not boring. Predictable. I like to be impulsive within that. I like to fall into safe ridiculousness within sensible timings.
If my mind suggests a silliness, it’s very hard to move passed without letting it out. Just a bit. Here and there. I am, after all, a grown up. With all the boringness that entails.
There are many reasons I had children, but perhaps my favourite is that they give anyone permission to be silly. A socially acceptable outlet for something that everyone in this world needs.
The last wedding I was at, I handed my daughter the camera. I asked her to take pictures of everyone. To catch all their faces.
Do you know what I found? A long roll of daft expressions. Accountants and nursery teachers, young and old, everyone lets their silliness out for those who they feel safe around.
There’s a lesson in there somewhere. An important moral. But I got distracted by a shiny marble with a swoosh of coloured glass through its heart, and it fluttered away. You’ll have to chase it. It can’t have gone far…